The Influence Of Asclepiades And Cicero 's Theory Of Medical Knowledge

1584 Words Nov 6th, 2014 null Page
Unfortunately, the influence of Asclepiades and Cicero eventually declined and the Roman physician, Celsus, reestablished the notion that madness was a punishment from the Gods.
Aulus Cornelius Celsus (25BC-50AD) believed that “a sort of force” should be applied to the insane to scare the demonic spirit, coercing it to flee the body. His beliefs helped to strengthen the idea that some psychological disorders were caused by angry gods or spirits. His beliefs and writings were later used as evidence to rationalize the burning of witches. Following Celsus, Claudius Galen (131-200 A.D) developed a new structure of medical knowledge based on the study of anatomy rather than on philosophical assumptions. This marks a major turning point in the beliefs about the causes of mental illness. He was the first researcher to conduct experiments on animals to study the functions of the internal organs. In doing so, he established the use of the pulse for diagnosis. Contrast to former philosophers, Galen maintained Hippocrates’ beliefs in the four humors as the cause of mental disturbances. He also suggested that a failure to control one’s urges (i.e., anger) might cause a kind of madness (Torrey, 2001).
In the Middle Ages, otherwise known as the Dark Ages, it was observed that beliefs were still highly spiritual and demonological. Abnormal behavior was believed to be a conflict of good and evil, or of God and the devil. These beliefs tended to dominate all aspects of life. Consisting in…

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